Date set for court hearing on controversial Kanata golf course redevelopment plan

A provincial court judge is expected to hear arguments next month over a controversial plan to convert a Kanata golf course into a housing development.

ClubLink, which has owned the Kanata Golf and Country Club since 1996, filed an application with the city last fall to redevelop the 71-hectare plot of land in the city’s west end. 

Kanata golf plan

Opponents say the proposal violates a longstanding agreement to keep the property as greenspace. The Kanata Greenspace Protection Coalition, a group of local residents that is fighting the redevelopment plan, said earlier this week a three-day virtual provincial court hearing has been scheduled for July 8-10 to rule on the issue.

ClubLink is partnering with local developers Minto Communities and Richcraft Homes on a redevelopment plan that would see slightly more than half of the existing golf course property earmarked for housing, with another 27 per cent reserved for open spaces, ponds and parks and the remainder for new roads.

The proposal calls for up to 1,500 new residential units divided among single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. 

But opponents say the plan violates a 1981 agreement between the former city of Kanata and the course’s then-owner. The pact requires 40 per cent of the Kanata Lakes property to be maintained as green space, including the golf course, and gives the city the right to take over the land at no cost if the owners no longer want to operate the course and cannot find another operator or buyer who wants to maintain it.

ClubLink bought the golf course in 1996. The City of Ottawa took over all legal agreements signed by all former municipalities in the former region of Ottawa-Carleton, including Kanata, when they were amalgamated in 2001, and last fall the city asked Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice to determine the rights of each party under the 1981 agreement.

Kanata North Coun. Jenna Sudds told OBJ last fall a “few different groups” have expressed interest in buying the golf course from ClubLink.

“Obviously, we'll certainly keep that as an avenue for future discussion if it’s needed,” she said. “But right now, I think the focus needs to be on that court ruling.”

ClubLink officials say the golf industry has seen declining revenues for nearly a decade and the organization needs to look at redeveloping some of its assets to become more financially viable over the long term.